Most resorts on Terengganu’s popular islands are no longer receiving bookings as they prepare for the impending arrival of the monsoon season. Several resorts were only reported to be operating throughout the year especially in meeting the demands of foreign tourists who were keen on the wave surfing sport available in the destination.
According to the Terengganu Tourism Department, all resorts on Pulau Perhentian had been closed from October except four, namely, Sharila Perhentian Resort, Coral View Resort, D’Rock Garden Resort and Aina Ohana which would be operational all year round. Meanwhile, on Pulau Redang, Kuala Nerus and Pulau Kapas, Marang, the operations of most resorts had ended in October, while resorts on Pulau Tenggol, Dungun would close at the end of this month.
The closures were done in response to the government’s call as it was worried over the safety of the tourists especially due to the uncertainty of the weather and turbulent seas. Based on a survey with the Terengganu Department of Marine Park Malaysia to Pulau Perhentian recently found that there were preparations made by most operators and relocating numerous equipment especially boats to safe locations.
Presently, most islands were only occupied by workers and operators to monitor their surrounding conditions throughout the monsoon season and paving the works to repair damaged rooms at the resorts.
Masron Mustafa, 40, an operator of one of the resorts on Pulau Perhentian commented that the closure would surely reduce the income of many of his workers, but it was necessary to avoid untoward incidents.
He said it was an annual routine for them to temporarily close their places of accommodation from October to February and to reopen them in March each year.
‘’I have closed the resort since mid-October. I understand some operators are still operational and will close in early November, while some are said to operate until the end of this year.
He added that the uncertain seas during the monsoon season can be a safety threat to tourists visiting the islands and the activities which can be carried out are also limited compared to normal days.
Masron said the boat services would also not operate like normal in the monsoon season and rendering it is also difficult for the tourists to go to the islands.
He further added that the situation was normally under control as the resort areas were protected by hills from the full forces of the winds when asked on the usual risks on Pulau Perhentian during the monsoon season.
In fact, he said the damages sustained were not as bad as those experienced by the other resorts such as on Pulau Kapas. A resort operator on Pulau Kapas, Hawa Abdul Rahman conceded that she suffered damages for the past years and had to cough out more than RM1 million on repairs.
She said the assault of the waves and strong winds had resulted in damaged equipment and blown away roofs at her resort.she added “Ombak Kapas Resort will still be operational albeit on a small scale during the monsoon season for safety reasons. There are still some European tourists who check into our resort to play with the monsoon waves,’’.
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